The Chairman of House of Representatives Committee on media and public affairs, Rep. Benjamin Kalu (APC-Abia) has said most Nigerians do not understand the duties of parliamentarians and seriously need to be educated.
Kalu added that this set of people often mistake the legislature for the executive and mount pressure on lawmakers for personal basic necessities and social amenities adding that the pressure from constituents for various needs is killing members of the National Assembly.
Kalu said this when he spoke to newsmen after the House adjourned sitting to mourn Rep. Ossy Prestige (APGA-Abia) who passed away after a brief illness in Germany at the age of 56.
“These guys here are suffering, they are under stress, that is why most of the sickness they are passing through is a heart attack and failure of organs due to stress for their constituents.
“That is the truth and the truth must be told, whether you want to understand it or not, let the press know this that the pressure from constituents is killing members of the National Assembly.
“That is the truth, the pressure is too much, people are receiving pressure from constituents on issues that is way out of the scope.
“Those who are not supposed to build roads are asked to build a road, those who are not supposed to build hospital are asked to build hospitals and so most members are under great pressure and some who do not know how to explain to their constituents, carry this pressure with them.
“And the resources for them to meet this expectation of the public are not there; people do not want to hear this but I must tell you that members of the parliament are under pressure,” he said.
He said members use their private resources to take care of the needs of the constituents, stressing that most people assume the money comes from the Federal Government.
Kalu said that in spite of the pressure, lawmakers will continue to do their jobs as parliamentarians as it was national service.
He said though the job of parliamentarians is not to build roads, hospitals and school, they will continue to push for the good of their constituents.
“And the resources for them to meet this expectation of the public are not there; people do not want to hear this but I must tell you that members of the parliament are under pressure,”